An unholy alliance of Christian and socialist parties seem to be set on turning back the clock on the Netherlands’ vaguely liberalised shop opening hours.
This means that you will only be able to buy a loaf of bread or a pair of socks on a Sunday in official tourist towns.
At the moment, one in five towns claim to be a tourist destination so that their shops can open more than the official 12 Sunday shopping days a year.
Among the towns taking advantage of the law are surprising tourism hotspots such as new towns Almere and Lelystad in the Flevopolder.
All this abuse of the system has to stop, says the biggest opponent of Sunday opening – the orthodox Christian party ChristenUnie (CU) which is the most junior partner in the current coalition.
‘The seventh day is a day of rest,’ CU MP Cynthia Ortega told the Volkskrant. ‘We should honour that.’
In fact, according to economic affairs ministry research, around 57% of the population oppose Sunday opening. But, of course, it also has its staunch supporters, such as high-spending young professional couples who are busy with their careers through the week.
The other main backers are, of course, poor old working mothers who like the fact they don’t have to combine shopping with football driving duty and swimming lessons all on the Saturday.
The government says it wants to get more women into full-time jobs. An official day of rest sounds great in practice, but in theory it shows how far removed from reality some politicians are.
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